Bentley and Lucas named to Naismith Award watch list

November 15, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Lady Lion senior guard Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) have been named to the Naismith Women's Award watch list, it was announced on Thursday (Nov. 15). The Naismith Women's Award is given to the nation's top female collegiate basketball player. Bentley and Lucas are two of five Big Ten players on the list, joining Ohio State's Tayler Hill and Nebraska's Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore.

With the announcement of the Naismith Award Watch List, Bentley and Lucas have now been named to all three preseason watch lists for National Player of the Year. In addition to the Naismith, the duo is on the Wade Watch and Wooden Top 30 lists.

The 50 player watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012-2013 college basketball season. The Naismith Women's College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 8, 2013, in New Orleans, La.

In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. In March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists.

Bentley is averaging 17.5 points per contest through her first two contests this season. Despite battling foul trouble in the first half, the Indianapolis native scored 14 of her game-high 21 points as she led the #9/9 Lady Lions to a 63-58 victory at #16/13 Texas A&M on Wednesday night. The senior also accounted for four assists and four steals in the win, as she notched her 20th career 20-point game.

Selected as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, Bentley became just the ninth player in school history to be selected to an All-Big Ten first team multiples times as she was picked for the second time in her career last year. She was also selected as a WBCA All-American Honorable Mention as she finished in the Top 15 in the Big Ten in scoring (11th/14.1), assists (4th/4.7), steals (2nd/3.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (7th/1.4). The captain is 10th on Penn State's career assists list (463), 15th in scoring (1,370) and ninth in steals (227). She is one of 34 Lady Lions to net 1,000 points for her career.

Through two contests this season, Lucas leads the Lady Lions in scoring, averaging 21.5 points per game. The junior tallied 18 points in Wednesday night's victory over the Aggies and accounted for a game-high 25 points in the season opening win over Howard in the Bryce Jordan Center, her 32nd career 20-point game.

Lucas earned her first career All-Big Ten first team accolades after finishing third in the conference and 20th in NCAA Division I in scoring (19.5). The 2012 Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American is in the top three on Penn State's career three-pointers list, top five on PSU's single-season three-pointers chart, top 25 on PSU's career scoring list, top five on PSU's season scoring list and second on sophomore season scoring chart. Last year she became just the third sophomore to reach the 1,000-point mark and is the 11th-fastest player in Big Ten history to accomplish the feat.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Naismith Trophy in 1983.

The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.

The Lady Lions won at Texas A&M on Wednesday and return home to face Lafayette on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. for Kids Day and YMCA Day. Kids will take over the BJC by partaking in various jobs on game day and the Lady Lions will host a kids clinic postgame for kids that register by emailing their information (names and ages) to by Saturday, Nov. 17. YMCA members can show their card at the ticket office on game day and can get $5 off per ticket. Additionally, fans that show their ticket from the Penn State-Indiana football game will receive a buy one ticket, get one free offer for the day. The Lady Lions are also helping the Penn State football team Stuff the Blue Bus for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and will offer fans that bring a canned good to the game a $5 ticket.

Single game tickets for the Lady Lions are on sale now. Tickets are $15 and $12 for adults and seniors and $9 and $7 for youth (12 and younger). Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are still available by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Season tickets are $99 for adults and $50 for youth (12 and under), this includes a Nittany Lion Kids Club Membership for 2012-13. The PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Pink Zone game.

The 2013 Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24 as the Lady Lions take on Michigan in the Bryce Jordan Center. Last year, the Lady Lions donated a record $203,000 to breast cancer causes. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Lewistown Hospital. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at

The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook at

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 16, 2012